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This section of the News and Media Services department site tracks stories in print and broadcast media that feature Auggie faculty, students, and staff. The area also is home to material developed for University-related programs, events, and more.

Pioneer Press Covers Lecture on Racial Justice by Professor William Green

On January 20, William Green, M. Anita Gay Hawthorne professor of critical race and ethnic studies at Augsburg University, gave a lecture titled “What Happened in This Region to Create the Disparities That Black Americans Continue to Experience Today?” The lecture was part of a series on racial justice sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Foundation. In it, Green spoke about moments in history, such as the Civil War, when people addressed injustice; reflected on whether or not the protests following the death of George Floyd signaled major change; and spoke about the need for leaders to make racial equity a priority if the work is to continue.

The lecture was covered by the Pioneer Press in the article “For racial equity to occur, there must first be a ‘formation of trust,’ professor says.’

Congratulations to Auggies named to the 2020 Fall Semester Dean’s List

Augsburg University SealMore than 1,000 Augsburg University undergraduate students were named to the 2020 Fall Semester Dean’s List. The Augsburg University Dean’s List recognizes those full-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.50 or higher and those part-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.75 or higher in a given term.

View the 2020 Fall Semester Dean’s List.

Students who wish to notify their hometown newspapers of their achievement can do so at their discretion using a news announcement template.

Augsburg President Featured in Story on Responding to the Attack on the U.S. Capitol

Paul PribbenowPresident Paul Pribbenow was quoted extensively in “Private college presidents turn focus from pandemic to insurrection,” an Inside Higher Ed story about how college and university presidents are responding to the recent attack on the U.S. Capitol. Pribbenow and others learned of the violence during a plenary panel he was leading as part of the Council of Independent Colleges’ virtual Presidential Institute. Among the topics he addressed were concerns about how the historic trauma faced by students of color can be exacerbated by images from January 6 and the need for institutions of higher education “to model healthy democratic engagement.” 

Professor Jeanne Boeh Featured on WCCO’s “Good Question”

WCCO logo

Professor Jeanne Boeh, chair of business administration at Augsburg University, was one of three experts in WCCO’s “Good Question” segment on December 28, 2020. Boeh and two other economists answered the question, “How is the economy doing?” She expressed concern based on the unemployment rate and spoke about the potential for foreclosures if people don’t get back to work soon.

Augsburg student featured in story on Black Men Teach

Kaiyre Lewis ’23The December 17, 2020, MPR news story “‘Who you are is valuable’: How Black male teachers in Minnesota are recruiting others to the profession” opens and closes with the story of Augsburg student Kaiyre Lewis ’23. Because there are so few Black male teachers in Minnesota, the nonprofit organization Black Men Teach is working to recruit Black male high school and college students for teaching careers. Lewis has connected with Black male teachers through the nonprofit and recently decided to change his major from political science to elementary education.

Professor William Green Featured in Star Tribune Column About Facing Racism

William Green
William Green

How can Minnesotans face the truth about racism, past and present?  Columnist Myron Medcalf explored that subject recently in the Star Tribune and interviewed Augsburg History Professor William Green.

Green said reading a wide range of material about Black history is the key to knowing the steps that have led to this critical moment.  Many Minnesotans were surprised that George Floyd could happen here in part because so many hadn’t grappled with the state’s true history of race relations. “Some people throw their hands up and say, ‘What am I supposed to do?’ ” Green said. “The conclusion is they do nothing. But that’s not the solution.”

Read the full article at the Star Tribune website.

Mill City Times interviews Professor Joseph Underhill about River Semester

Joe UnderhillMill City Times recently interviewed Augsburg Professor Joseph Underhill about River Semester. Underhill teaches courses in Environmental Politics, International Relations, and Political Methodology, and regularly takes students off campus for experiential and interdisciplinary learning. An experiential education is a hallmark of an Augsburg education and Undehill has been key to helping Augsburg live it out. He has directed the International Relations Program and Model United Nations programs at Augsburg since 1998 and taken students to New Zealand, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Egypt, and Tanzania.

For the past fifteen years, Underhill has taken students out on the Mississippi River to study the impact of human activity on the river ecosystem. Students in the program earn a full semester of college credits with a customized curriculum focused on environmental justice and social change in the Mississippi Joe Underhillwatershed. The River Semester is a regular part of the programming offered by Augsburg University’s Center for Global Education and Experience (CGEE).

Read the interview at the Mill City Times website.

For more details about River Semester, visit the River Semester site.

MinnPost: Cedar-Riverside’s Health Commons Expands

The Health Commons in the Riverside Plaza complex, a collaborative effort of Augsburg University’s Department of Nursing, M Fairview Health, East Africa Health Project, and People’s Center Clinics & Services, is expanding and enhancing its services. 

The expanded Health Commons includes clinical space as well as mental health and addiction services provided by a peer support specialist and care coordinator. A full-time Somali-speaking nurse will help coordinate care and refer people to community organizations. The Health Commons also will provide the resources needed for community members to have virtual visits with medical personnel. In addition, there will be indoor and outdoor spaces for health-related classes and other events once it is safe to gather again.

You can read about the Health Commons and other health care efforts in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in the October 16, 2020, MinnPost opinion piece, “Promising steps in the Cedar-Riverside community toward equitable health care.”

Augsburg University Announces Test-Free Admissions Policy

Augsburg University INSIDE OUT art wall
Augsburg University and INSIDE OUT art

(Minneapolis) – Augsburg University will shift to a Test-Free Admissions Policy as the pandemic has added more risks and restrictions to test taking. 

The policy takes effect immediately for the 2021 and fall 2022 application cycles, which is the remainder of a previous four-year pilot test-optional admissions policy.

“It’s expected to help prospective students complete their applications during the pandemic when navigating test taking and scheduling is more challenging,” said Devon Ross, director of undergraduate admissions. “The shift also supports our Strategic Enrollment Management vision to approach all we do with an anti-racist and anti-biased lens.”       

For a number of student populations, standardized test scores may not reflect an accurate indication of academic ability — including, for example, people without access to test preparation courses and tutors; those who can’t afford to retake the test; people with learning and physical differences, and English language learners.

This also aligned with Augsburg‘s holistic admissions process, which looks at quantitative metrics and beyond. The application-review process allows Augsburg to maintain the university’s academic standards and ensure the university admits students with the capacity to succeed here.

Augsburg introduced a faculty-approved test-optional admissions policy in April 2018. Submission of ACT or SAT test scores for admission became optional starting in fall 2019 for incoming undergraduate (first-year and transfer) student applicants.

Media Contact: Gita Sitaramiah, Director of Public Relations and Internal Communications. 651-353-0061-cell

About Augsburg
Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at augsburg.edu.

Riverside Innovation Hub’s work with congregations to expand with $1 million grant

(Minneapolis) – Augsburg University has received a  $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help expand the Augsburg College Sealwork of the Riverside Innovation Hub within the university’s Christensen Center for Vocation (CCV).

The program is funded through the Lilly Endowment’s Thriving Congregations Initiative. The aim of the national initiative is to strengthen Christian congregations so they can help people deepen their relationships with God, build strong relationships with each other, and contribute to the flourishing of local communities and the world.

Lilly Endowment is making nearly $93 million in grants through the initiative. The grants will support organizations such as the Christensen Center for Vocation as they work directly with congregations and help them gain clarity about their values and missions, explore and understand better the communities in which they serve, and draw upon their theological traditions as they adapt ministries to meet changing needs.

The Christensen Center plays an integral role in stewarding the university’s commitment to, and exploration of vocation, the unique way God calls and equips us—as individuals and as communities—to work towards a better world for and with our neighbors. The Thriving Congregations Initiative grant will enable Augsburg’s CCV to expand and solidify the future of this work with congregations. We will walk with our partners through two consecutive two-year learning communities consisting of leadership teams from twelve congregations. Our hope is to develop an ecumenical network of twenty-four congregations over five years who are becoming more deeply engaged in the proclamation of Christ’s good news in transformative ways in their neighborhoods.

“The Christensen Center for Vocation is creating an innovative model for how a university of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America can be a learning partner with local congregations and ministry leaders for the sake of the world,” said Paul Pribbenow, Augsburg’s president. “These partnerships will create exciting learning opportunities for our students, staff, and faculty, who wrestle with what it means to live faithfully in the church and in the world in the midst of the various challenges our communities are facing: COVID-19, growing economic inequality, climate change, and the prevalence of racist systems.” 

Augsburg University is one of 92 organizations taking part in the initiative. They represent and serve churches in a broad spectrum of Christian traditions, including Anabaptist, Baptist, Episcopal, evangelical, Lutheran, Methodist, Mennonite, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Reformed, Restoration, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox, as well as congregations that describe themselves as non-denominational. Several organizations serve congregations in Black, Hispanic and Asian-American traditions.

“In the midst of a rapidly changing world, Christian congregations are grappling with how they can best carry forward their ministries,” said Christopher Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “These grants will help congregations assess their ministries and draw on practices in their theological traditions to address new challenges and better nurture the spiritual vitality of the people they serve.”  

Lilly Endowment launched the Thriving Congregations Initiative in 2019 as part of its commitment to support efforts that enhance the vitality of Christian congregations.

Media Contact: Gita Sitaramiah, Director of Public Relations and Internal Communications. 651-353-0061-cell

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis and home state, Indiana. The principal aim of the Endowment’s grantmaking in religion is to deepen and enrich the lives of Christians in the United States, primarily by seeking out and supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations and strengthen their pastoral and lay leadership. 

About Augsburg
Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at augsburg.edu.